Though I can understand much of the sentiment of this article, I am also appalled that a doctor thinks of women so poorly. People with Fibromyalgia have been misunderstood enough, and for a doctor to allude to the fact that women "doctor shop" just to get drugs, is just plain disgusting. I'm also angry that he is quoted in saying "How do you do no harm?"
Yes, we as a society, ALL have to take responsibility in drug overdoses. It's an epidemic and something needs to be done. But I think it's COMPLETELY wrong for a doctor, a health insurance company, or a drug industry to assume that the blame is equal across the board between them and us as the consumer. Here's why:
The businesses we work for-- you know, the ones who pay us so we can pay our medical bills-- "shop" for health insurance. They don't want to pay a lot. They want to make money. I can't blame them. But when they "shop", it forces us to "shop" for a new doctor 9 times out of 10 because our original doctor is usually not one that is covered. This has happened to me so many times, I've lost count. And I would have kept my original doctor. I liked him. But I simply just couldn't afford him anymore.
Sometimes we as consumers have to "shop" too. We do this because the doctor we were suggested to go to has an absolutely appalling bedside manner. I am guilty of "shopping" on occasion because I don't like doctors that don't look up from their prescription pads. NEWSFLASH! FIBRO PATIENTS DO NOT LIKE MEDICATION! THEY HATE IT! And personally, I'd rather avoid it because it can make me feel worse. Not better. And if you as a doctor can't make eye contact with me, I don't want you as a doctor. Sorry, but like my mother told me when I first started dating, I'm more than just a body.
Then there are the billions of pill commercials on TV that claim, "Take this and you can go back to dancing and running marathons." Um, no. I'm not going to take your word for it. That pill could interact with my vitamins or diet, or worse, it could have a side effect that I mistake as my common Fibromyalgia symptoms. My joints swell with Fibro. It's not an incredibly common symptom, but it is a symptom. Therefore it would be pretty hard for me to take the most commonly drug prescribed because swelling is an effect to look for, and if that happens, you are supposed to discontinue use because that's a deadly symptom.
Our society got to overuse and abuse of drugs because we had a business, the healthcare industry, decide to make common consumers more responsible. And that's great that you all want us to be our own advocates. I applaud you for that! It's a very positive thing! Go all of you for thinking that way!
BUT, here's the thing, you can't make us more responsible if you don't give us ALL of the information we need to make an informed decision. That's where the fine line of "do no harm" comes in. Your industry is supposed to be the experts. You all went to school for a lot longer than we did. You spent long hours studying and you spent long hours as interns. We are grateful for you to do that. That's why we pay you quite a bit to help us make an informed decision based on your expert opinion.
It's about time you, the ones who want to share the blame a lot more than it should be shared, realize that your responsibility is FAR greater than the average consumers for this drug problem. You have the degrees. We don't. We only have the internet and the TV to inform us. And MOST of the time those avenues are cluttered with false statements because someone would rather sell us something than to actually help us. A doctor, a health insurance company, and a drug company, needs to be advocates as well. And NOT salesman.
Death rates soar among women using prescription drugs
Love and friendship,